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Digital didactics

Spending three hours in a classroom and then applying the knowledge gained during on-the-job training is a thing of the past. “Digital learning saves employees a lot of time and makes consuming theory more interactive and therefore more enjoyable,” says Jonas Maerschand, National Sales Manager at FLOWSPARKS. “In addition, the on-the-job story remains crucial. By turning to digital, there can be even more focus on experiencing and executing the theory.”

FLOWSPARKS is an online Learning Content Management System (LCMS) to create, manage and update digital learning materials faster. Soudal uses it to train their frontline employees and simplify onboarding. “Soudal has about twenty-five production sites worldwide and using Excel to keep track of all employees’ learning was no longer possible, certainly not efficient,” says Rob Brouwers, HR Specialist Learning, Development & HR Tools at Soudal with a smile. “The development of learning materials was also in need of digitisation. So time to implement an LCMS.”

A never ending story

Jonas: “Learning is a continuous process and an LCMS helps to tackle that in a structured way. Transferring knowledge in the right way and underpinning it didactically is a big challenge in this. I like to compare it to learning to drive. My father is an incredibly good driver, but I still went to driving school. After all, just because you can do something well does not mean you can teach it equally well. Just as the driving school provides an underpinned framework to teach you the right skills, FLOWSPARKS helps to convert all available information to an e-Learning using didactically based formats.”

FLOWSPARKS makes the learning process a lot more efficient,” Rob adds. “Every employee has access via FLOWSPARKS to e-Learning modules of interest to them. This allows employees to upskill themselves adequately and gives them more control over their personal development. Of course, an HR department or manager can set up mandatory pathways.

FLOWSPARKS intuitively converts all available learning material into didactic material.

Jonas Maerschand

A digital training path also offers many advantages for our HR department and managers. The right information gets to the right person without fuss, learning and development management becomes easier, and real-life classroom training can focus entirely on the specific needs of employees.

In addition, FLOWSPARKS allows us to measure a lot. When working with ten in a company, it is easy to keep track of who has learned what, but as a company grows, it becomes difficult to maintain an overview. Thanks to e-Learning, we can easily get the content to the employees and see who has effectively followed the learning paths. So on the one hand, we can be sure that everyone has a minimum amount of prior knowledge around certain topics. On the other hand, during an audit on safety, we can easily show what training we offer around this and who has already taken it.”

Back to school

Jonas: “Theory remains theory. Alongside the digital route, on-the-job training remains indispensable. Ultimately, you need to put the knowledge you have acquired into practice and that is when a colleague’s expertise is welcome. His or her experience and daily findings allow you, in real life, to go deeper into issues covered in the online course.”

“Hybrid learning is therefore the way to go today, also at Soudal,” says Rob. “Offering attractive and didactically strong training packages online increases interest in continuous learning. We also create a culture in which employees can ask questions in real life. The digital component allows us to use on-the-job training in the best possible way, because when it comes to learning, we at Soudal are convinced that one plus one equals three.”

Show me the money

Investing in learning and development – like any other investment – comes with various challenges. Yet it is more than worth it.

Jonas: “Manufacturing in Belgium and Europe remains a challenge. Distinguishing ourselves from other countries requires a certain degree of efficiency and that requires well-trained employees. Customers who trigger lifelong learning for their employees see their error rates on production lines drop by several percent.”

Rob: “Besides a more efficient production chain, a well-thought-out learning strategy is also important for recruiting and retaining people. From the start, employees need to feel that they are invested in and that there are opportunities to continue learning and growing. Committing to hybrid learning is the key to success.”